Softly hit ball in tennis — MONDAY, Aug. 24 2009 — Medicine woman of 1990s TV / Pagoda instruments / Tilter at windmills
Monday, August 24, 2009
Constructor: Anthony J. Salvia
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: DQ — theme answers are 3 people (1 real, 2 fictional) and a fast food chain, all of whose initials are D.Q.
Word of the Day: DINK (55A: Softly hit ball in tennis) — n.
- A two-career couple with no children.
- A member of such a couple.
[D(ual) I(ncome) N(o) K(ids).]OR
A drop shot.
[From dink, sound of a weakly hit or dropped ball.]OR
n. Offensive Slang.
Used as a disparaging term for a North Vietnamese soldier or guerrilla in the Vietnam War.
A straightforward Monday puzzle. No bells and whistles, just a bunch of phrases with one feature in common. Actually, the four "Q"s are at least a bell, if not a whistle, and they lead to at least one nice word in the crosses: BAROQUE (40D: Like the works of Handel and Bach). Other than that, not much to laugh (or cry) about. I rated it "Medium" for difficulty, though honestly I have no idea how difficult it was. I filled some out, and then went downstairs or dinner, and then filled the rest of it out in front of the TV, so whether this would have taken me 3 minutes or 4 (and that's a chasm where difficulty level is concerned), I don't know. I fell into at least one trap — SHAPE for SOLID (44D: Sphere or cube) — and I needed a lot of help to get FLARED UP (36D: Came back, as allergies; wanted it to start RE-) — and I simply couldn't think of an answer for either 23A: Little article accompanying a bigger article (sidebar) or 45A: Plaza displays (parades) at first glance. I have never seen a PARADE in a "plaza." Just on streets. PARADES through plazas makes me think only of communist countries (U.S.S.R., N. Korea, with the precision military marching and tanks and what not).
- 17A: Tilter at windmills (Don Quixote) — I feel like I'm tilting every time I try to read it. Furthest I've got is something like 500 pages. You'd think that if I got that far I could finish. But no.
- 11D: Star of "The Rookie," 2002 (Dennis Quaid) — not his most famous film (I don't think), thus an odd clue for a Monday.
- 25D: Medicine woman of 1990s TV (Doctor Quinn) — the show is called "DR. QUINN, Medicine Woman." This seems important.
- 49A: Place to order a Blizzard (Dairy Queen) — as soon as I got DOCTOR QUINN (which revealed the theme), I went looking for DAIRY QUEEN.
- 19A: City NNW of Oklahoma City (Enid) — In Crossworld, ENID is the OSLO of the U.S., with one exception — if I'd never done a crossword, I would still have heard of OSLO.
- 29A: Biblical objects of multiplication (loaves) — first thought: FISHES?
- 9D: Detest (execrate) — that's a great verb, even if it is a little too close to EXCRETE for my comfort.
- 10D: Think creatively (ideate) — one of my most hated crossword words.
- 27D: Pagoda instruments (gongs) — handy that I only recently learned that a "pagoda" was not a store in the barrio.
- 45D: Argentine dictator who was ousted in 1955 (Peron) — why am I reading words backwards today. PERON has NO REP. ENID wants to DINE. ENOLA is ALONE at the top of the list of famous planes in Crossworld. Etc.
Final dispatch from the Lollapuzzoola tournament this past weekend. I don't know of any other recaps out there — when I learn of them, I'll link to them. Here are the results from the tournament. I feel like I should mention some of my regular readers/commenters who were there, like mac and HudsonHawk and PhillySolver. I should also mention the amazingly delicious and enjoyable post-tournament dinner I had with Tony Orbach, Patrick Blindauer, and Patrick's girlfriend Rebecca Young. Patrick and Rebecca are now doing some co-constructing, and if the puzzles are anything like they are when they get together, then those puzzles will be ... I want to say "garrulous" or "sassy" or "filled with clues that are hilarious and perfect but so offensive they will never see print." Tony Orbach is the sweetest, friendliest guy you'll ever meet. I have no idea how I'm going to find the strength to go on undervaluing his puzzles, but I'll try. Anyway, that's all about that. For all those who have ever wanted to go to a tournament but thought they weren't good enough: Your Skill Level Is Virtually Irrelevant. If you really like xwords and you can hack your way through even a Wednesday puzzle, you should go. I hope more small, affordable regional tournaments like this start turning up across the country. They're a great way to add to the social dimension of this hobby.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]
PS big thanks to treedweller for filling in for me on Saturday. I know lots of struggling solvers who appreciated the write-up immensely.